Joy

Yesterday I felt better after writing a blog so I peeled off my face mask and went for a run. One of the best run’s I’ve ever done. 4 miles flew by and I actually mean flew by. I ran 4 miles in 40 minutes. Which, for me, is really super speedy.   It was probably the great running soundtrack I was listening to that included Duffy, Coldplay, Radiohead, Jimmy Eat World, Outkast, and my favorite, Dave Matthews Band.  It felt good.  I could have run more but I had to pee at mile 4 and so I decided not press my luck and walk the other 4 miles home, stopping to get groceries for dinner on the way. 

It felt good. I felt… joy.  

 Look at this picture. It was taken without me knowing it this past weekend (and yes, I am wearing a belly dancing costume…). Looking at it, I wouldn’t say it’s the most flattering picture of me, it’s pictures like that that make me think I should never have cut my hair, I really do look like a boy. But that’s beside the point because I am happy in that picture. I feel joy.  

I don’t feel at home in my body. I often think, okay always, I blame this on being “big”. But there’s something not quite accurate about that because I am quite jealous of other girls of many sizes. Some much bigger then me, some smaller.  I posted an article about Sara Ramirez on my facebook the other day that had caught my attention because, not only am I an avid Grey’s Anatomy follower, but I happen to have a huge girl crush/ jealousy issue with Sara Ramirez in particular. I think she’s gorgeous. And I want to be that beautiful. So when I read the article titled “Getting Over Myself : I’m a size 12 in a size 0 town” it hit me, that Ms. Ramirez is not the same size as me, and she’s not smaller, she’s…bigger. And I’m jealous of her beauty.  So then, it’s not smaller that I’m after. what is it? and why do I think it manifests itself in weight LOSS for me?  Dr. Callie Torres looks like she inhabits her body on Grey’s Anatomy.  The girls I’m jealous of  (hopefully this is flattering and not too weird) – my sister, my best friend Melanie, a few of the girls at work – they’re all different sizes, different hair colors, different ethnicities. I guess what I see in them is their ability to inhabit their own bodies, and obviously that they’re dead sexy.  Yes I just said my sister is sexy. If you can’t speak the truth about your family who can you speak the truth about? Moving on… So it’s not small per se that I find attractive.  So what is it? and why do I feel like I’m without it?

The thing is I know what it’s like to feel at one with your body even if that feeling comes only rarely.  It’s most likely to occur when I’m dancing, like in the picture, like in highschool and college performances and competitions, when I’m performing like at Pirates. When I’m having sex (this is turning out to be a much creepier post then I originally intended but just go with me here). and you know what, when I think about it, sometimes, sometimes when I’m running.  It’s like I have to be moving, maybe that’s why I can’t sit still, hell, I even move in my sleep. I don’t usually feel comfortable in my body, how do other people feel? I feel like its not a part of me, so disconnected, these thighs don’t do what I want them to do, they don’t feel like my soul feels. They feel heavy and clumsy, like a ball and chain holding me down. My arms and my shoulders and my rib cage, don’t feel like they should be mine, they hold me in and cramp my movements and make me feel like a box, or a soul trapped inside a box, banging around in it ungracefully.  But the feeling of inhabiting my body, that fleeting feeling, is so intoxicating and freeing, I’m constantly chasing it. and I just can’t find a way to keep it, to make my body match my soul. So maybe I’m not looking to be skinnier, but I don’t know how to get what I want, to stop feeling trapped.

I don’t know how to consistently feel that joy.  But I’m not giving up, I’m looking.  Until I get out of this funk P90X is off.  I get to do whatever I want. Today I did 40 minutes on the elliptical over my lunch break. It wasn’t exhilarating like the 4 miles I ran yesterday, but it was good. Good enough.

Thoughts, advice, questions?

I appreciate the suggestions and advice from Shanti and Casey.  Perhaps a workout buddy would give me more purpose and a point of reference. I don’t know where I’m going to be a month from now, but I do know that when Melanie was my running buddy, even from a long way away it made me strive, gave me more joy in my running workouts.  And I’m looking for new things too. I want to keep running, but I need to get in the pool, yoga and other things (Pilates?) I just honestly have to find a way to feel comfortable in my own skin and body so I can workout for fitness and to aid my career and not to be skinny – because it doesn’t solve that.

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About Coco

Dancer, performer, cosmetologist and now first time mum. I spent my life traveling the world as a performer. Now, the next chapter is unfolding...

Posted on October 12, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Elliptical after a day of running is smart. Non-impact cardio instead of beating up yourself. j
    As for taking joy in your body, think of all the things it is: fit, strong, capable, healthy – and cute.
    Your belly dance photo shows sexy abs and butt 😀

    • As always, thanks for the encouragement Shanti! Is it weird that I consider you sort of my workout buddy? Reading about your workouts and your comments on my blog keep me motivated and help me keep moving and stay positive 🙂

  2. I think that’s one of the reasons I initially fell in love with running. Initially, it was to be/keep skinny. But now it makes me happy and I know I’m stronger because of it. And the strength/healthy feeling are just as important now as any other reason I have to do it…

    • It’s encouraging to hear!! Thanks! at least I’m not alone… ps. I’m inspired to try making brussel sprouts because of your blog. I haven’t tried them yet, but your pictures of them look delish!

  3. First, good job on that run… runs like that remind me of why I love the sport. I am still trying to find joy in my body, but then I remember all it does for me on a daily basis and I think of everything positive
    You look fantastic in that pic!
    Completely random (sorta) where did you get the belly dancing outfit? I want to be a belly dancer for Halloween this year 🙂 haha

    • Thanks Tessa! I wish I could help you with the costume but this one was made in Singapore. My best advice is look in the yellow pages for any middle eastern costuming or dance schools. I used to belly dance in California and we got costumes made by the tailors in the middle eastern part of town. good luck and I want to see pictures!!

  4. Good lord we are so much alike! The running (we’re even the same pace!), the body issues … although certainly my job does not require me to work out or look good, so that’s quite a drawback (although I’m sure you could say the same!). I wonder if I could be your work out buddy from afar … not sure how that would work, but the incentive or motivation of “reporting” to someone else always helps. Will be great to catch up when you’re in the States next month!!!!!!! ❤

  5. Lizzy, I can’t believe we’re so alike, I can’t believe you have body issues like that (you’re gorgeous btw)! I would love a far away workout buddy… I think we could do “long distance” he he he! I can’t wait to see you and catch up, who knew we’d be friends as adults??!

    • Hmm well whenever we’re able to get together next month, we’ll have to figure out a “far away” work out buddy plan! And I know, thanks to Facebook, who knew we’d ever be able to run into each other again?! Can’t complain!!! 😀

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